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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  January 14, 2013 8:00am-10:00am PST

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bill: saw "les mis" on friday. i loved it? martha: i did. bill: great, great performance. we're all positive. like two thumbs up. catch you tuesday. martha: we'll see you tomorrow. "happening now" starts right now. bye, everybody. jenna: good morning to you. we're starting with a fox news alert. president obama will hold a news conference just minutes from the president will make an opening statement before he addresses the white house press corps. i'm head -- head they are nauert. jon: welcome, heather. discusses is expected to be about the legislative battles that lie ahead in his second term. showdowns over the debt ceiling and gun control. heather: wendell goler is live for us at the white house. good morning, wendell. why is the president holding a news conference now? >> reporter: well, heather, as john said it is the last
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week of the president's first term and wants to talk about the issue likely to dominate his second. that is the nation's debt and deficit. we already reached the $16 trillion debt limit set by congress. treasury secretary tim geithner says his accounting tricks and maneuvers can only buy us a couple more months the president wants to call on congress to raise the debt ceiling without drama. he says even the threat, note to raise the debt ceiling could cause a down-tick in the nation's credit rating as it did in 2011. republicans are determined to use that leverage. it may be the only leverage they have to raise the nation's debt ceiling. in the past it has worked to demand spending cuts in exchange for raising the nation's debt ceiling. they intend to do it this time. heather? heather: a lot going on in washington. we hear rumors the president may address the issue of immigration reform. that may be one of the top priorities of his administration. is he expected to talk about that? >> reporter: perhaps but even before that the president is likely to be asked about efforts to curb the nation's gun violence
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with vice president biden set to give recommendations to the president as early as tomorrow. he has been looking at the issue. now, the president favors a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high capacity magazines. the national rifle association says he doesn't have the votes to force that. all this of course in the wake of the shooting at the school in connecticut that cost the lives of 20 children in addition to six adults. he will also be asked about reshuffling his cabinet. his election of chuck hagel as defense secretary, moderate senator from nebraska, drawing fire mainly from republicans. all but negating the president's attempt to reach across the aisle. hagel has been criticized for his criticism what he calls the jewish lobby which he says has inintimidated members of congress. he is seen by be republicans being weak on iriran. the president may face complications in head of the homeland security john
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brennan to head the cia. he worked for the cia for 25 years. his selection to head the post not draws as much criticism as republicans see an opening to once again probe the ashes of the tragedy at the u.s. consulate in benghazi that cost the life of an american ambassador and three others. heather? heather: wendell goler in washington. thank you so much. sounds just like about everything including the kitsch -- kitchen sink in washingtoners for more let's talk with david drucker, associate politics he had tore roll call. there is great deal of thought for the news conference the president has a major point he wants to make. why now? why today, david? >> part of it the first term is winding down. there is just a week left and even outgoing presidents tend to give at news conference to set the agenda what they accomplished when they're on their way out, if they're on their way out. in this case the president
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really wants to stay on offense on the debt ceiling. we know we will have a major clash between him and house republicans and senate republicans on the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling senate wants a bill giving him a clean increase in the nation's borrowing limit. republicans want spending cuts and probably entitlement reform in exchange for granting that. he had the upper hand politically in part because he defined the terrain in this rhetorically and you think he wants to continue that. jon: second terms generally have not been kind to incumbent presidents. george w. bush tried to reform social security. got shot down. there were problems with the federal response to hurricane katrina there was the iraq war. you also had, you know, bill clinton everybody remembers, what happened in his second term. what are the potential problems that lie ahead for this president? >> well, i think any president who wins a second term clearly wants to fet -- get a lot accomplished. they feel freed up to do the
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things they hope they wanted to do, they figure voters endorsed them and endorsed everything they said they were going to do. that is actually not the case. a lot of times voters decided they like the incumbent than the other guy, trusted him more than the other guy he was running against of the you have members from your own party, you're on your way out two years from now and four years from now, why do we have to stick our neck out for big things but we have to pay the price and we would like to stick around for a while. having said that, for all the problems bill clinton had in effect in his second term he pick up seats, his party did in the 1998 midterms. when you look at george w. bush and his presidency, republicans had been in control of congress for a dozen years and there was a general hangover and rejection of republicans running everything in town and that was reflected in the results of the '06 midterms. here republicans control the house of representatives and that is something i think the president is going to
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highlight in a sense to say, give me more freedom and latitude in my last two years and democrats can accomplish a lot. you have to look at both sides of the equation as you try to figure out what kind of second term el have. jon: we have this economic recovery, if you can call it that is very anemic. you have got unemployment pushing near 8%. if the labor participation rate were the same as it was when he took office it would be over 10%. there is an awful lot of bad news out there. that is not to include information about iran and its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. so by focusing on the debt ceiling fight is the president's sort of holding out a shiny object for the press to capture attention? >> well, look, i think whether, i think you're right that there's a lot of pitfalls out there for the president, things we haven't thought of, foreign policy crises yet to come and an economy that has been sluggish. a couple of things to realize. first of all the economy has not been in that great a shape and the president was
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reelected nonetheless. while eventually i think voters might get fed up with his economic stewardship, they might not. secondly whether the president wants to hold up shiny objects for the press, we know the debt ceiling fight will come to a head. we know it will be a major clash. the president wants to maintain upper hand here. not so much what you or i might think is really going on. it is what voters think is going on. how they see things. he wants to maintain his image at a reasonable, rational guy versus a, band of republicans he wants to faint as extreme, out of touch and unreasonable. jon: weill look for him to, at that conversation at this news conference. david drucker. >> that's correct. that's what it is all birks we'll have to leave it there. thanks, david. >> anytime. heather: as we wait for the news conference scheduled to take place just about 11:30 eastern time. let's talk about some good news this morning and possibly good news for former president george h.w.
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bush as we learn he may finally leave the hospital this week. he has been recovering from bronchitis since the month of november. andrea watkins joins us from our fox affiliate, kirv, live from houston with the latest. good morning. what are we hearing from doctors and medical professionals there? >> reporter: we don't hear very much from the medical professionals because they saved the message for the family and family spokesperson. but what the family is telling us is that they are definitely hoping to get out of the hospital sometime early this week. now the reason we're talking about it is because over the weekend the former president's son, jeb bush, the florida governor jeb bush, told a group during his speech that his dad would be getting out of the hospital today. bush 41, he is 88 years old. he has been in the hospital for seven and a half weeks now, since the day after thanksgiving. he has had coughing and breathing problems brought on by bronchitis.
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he spent the week in christmas in intensive care because of a high fever but apparently he has been on the mend since then. whether or not he leaves the hospital today we'll have to wait and see. his long-time spokesperson jim mcgrath told me this morning he could not be as definitive as jeb bush was over the weekend. he said the family simply hopes that mr. bush will be able to get out of the hospital, first part of this week but, you know, ultimately it is up to the doctors and they are taking every precaution necessary. back to you. heather: we're certainly hoping for the best. andrea watkins, thanks so much, joining us from houston this morning. jon: we wish bush 41 well. a long time to spend in the hospital. we're awaiting president obama's news conference set to begin about 20 minutes from now. the president will take questions from the white house press corps in the east room. we'll bring it to you live. this cops as big congressional battles loom from the debt limit to gun control and questions mount
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what the obama administration will achieve in a second term. we'll continue to break it all down coming up "happening now". [ male announcer ] now many humana medicare plans
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jon: a fox news alert. you're looking at the white house where in just about 15 minutes the president is expected to appear in the east room for what is also expected to be the final news conference of his first term. it is expected the president is going to want to start to frame the debate that is upcoming with congress on the debt ceiling, try to get his position out there. he may also touch on his proposals for immigration reform and a couple of other goodies that he would like to get done in his second term but of course these things don't always necessarily go, the press don't always necessarily play along the way the
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president likes. there are questions to be answered for instance, u.s. troops in afghanistan after 2014. how many are going to be there. what about unemployment in this country? what are the president's plans and of course that trillion dollar deficit. lots of questions for the president. he will be answering them in about 15 minutes. we'll have it for you live. heather: in the meantime let's head out to california and that is where a nightclub brawl spills out onto the streets and it is all caught on video. the fight ending with a teenager and, excuse me, with gunfire and a teenager dead. now california police are on the hunt for the killer this morning. jamie colby is covering this story live from our new york newsroom. hi, jamie. >> reporter: good to see you, jamie. a lot of action overnight. the particular melee left one man dead two others injured. it happened outside after north hollywood nightclub. it got far enough along for authorities to hear the gunshots ring out all captured on camera by "tmz".
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listen. [gunfire] >> reporter: we had to bleep some stuff obviously. a crazy scene sunday outside the empire club. the fists started to fly. clubgoers jumped on car and took over the street in the middle of traffic before things turned deadly. only then, following the shots you see partygoers running from the scene. police believe they have identified the shooter now but they have yet to announce an arrest. the patron that was killed was only 19 years old, a male, according to reports, taken to an area hospital for treatment but was instead pronounced dead. now police believe the fight started inside the club, heather and spilled outside. it is unclear if the shooter ever made it inside because at that particular club the, empire club we hear they're known to frisk all those who enter, makes you wonder what kind of club and area this is. more as we get it. heather: jamie colby thank you so much. west hollywood a very busy area. you saw the video.
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so many people outside. good thing not more people were injured. >> reporter: absolutely. >>. jon: taking questions on his second term, president obama set to hold a white house news conference minutes from now. we'll have that for you live on "happening now" [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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jon: a fox news extreme weather alert and balmy is not a word you normally would use to describe the northeast this time of year but the region has seen temperatures as much as 30 degrees above normal over the last few days. kind of like that right now in fact. we're talking about highs near the 60s for new york city, d.c. and philadelphia. unfortunately all good things must come to an end and cooler temperatures start moving in later today.
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but where did all that warm air come from? probably the west coast, because that area is now coping with just the opposite problem, record-breaking cold. temperatures as much as 30 degrees below average are prompting a fourth day of freeze warnings. residents and tourists alike are bundling up against the bitter cold as sit through -- citrus growers take steps to protect their crops. we have live outside fontana, california, outside of los angeles where the teeth are chattering, huh, hall? >> reporter: i think you're right. they are chattering actually. feels like i'm somewhere between inside of a refrigerator and a wind tunnel. if you look around me, see some of the wind blowing. it is not as heavy as it has been. i don't know how big that flag is but has been unfurled all morning long waving like that. the winds, tree after tree after tree, just blowing out here. the good news of course, we don't have any serious problems. all of this is relative though and for people in
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colder parts of the country, this might seem a lit i can like a heat wave. for e not for us in southern california. for our crops this is a big concern. subfreezing temperatures can damage the citrus we grow here in southern california. that can translate back into problems at the grocery store in the way of higher prices. so far this morning we're keeping our fingers crossed. it seems to be okay. as we get day after day of cold and windy weather that becomes a concern. the wind is, sustained at times at 40 miles an hour. i think you see sometimes i'm blowing around here. the high wind warnings are going to last here for a few more hours in southern california, at least here where we are in fontana. about 51 miles east of downtown los angeles we can expect these high sustained winds for quite a while and they are the kind of winds that can bring down trees and power lines and can cause all kind of problems for high-profile vehicles out on the roads, but again, right now, so far so good.
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kind of hope it will stay that way. it is cold, john. it is very windy here in southern california. we'll throw it back to you in the nice warm studio there in new york. jon: we have to get you a parka and some gloves, hall. that does not look like fun. >> reporter: yeah. no, it is chilly out there. jon: kttv's hal eisner, fontana, california. where, boy, it looks kind of nastyite now. thanks, hal. heather: at least not to you and me. you're from colorado. i'm from northern illinois so. jon: i'm not used to seeing green trees this time of year. when the trees are leafed out it doesn't look cold but it is plenty cold. heather: we have trust him. as we await the vice president's recommendations on gun control which he is supposed to present to the president tomorrow, one mayor of one major city is take being action on his own. we'll tell you why and what he is doing. defense cuts may have been temporarily put on hold because of the whole fiscal cliff deal but will our
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likely ask about including the whole gun control issue. vice president biden on the hill talking with some members on up there what recommendations will be given to the president tomorrow. other hot issues, the debt ceiling and immigration we may be hearing about. we want to know what you would ask the president if you're able to ask him a question. you can tweet us at happening now those questions. jon: sounds good. heather touched on it. vice president joe biden presents his plan to curb gun violence to president obama tomorrow. one city is apparently not waiting around for washington act. chicago quickly becoming ground zero in the debate on gun control. that city saw more than 500 murders last year, prompting mayor rahm emanuel to take action with a gun control plan of his own. steve brown is live in chicago right now, but i guess mayor emanuel is not. he is in d.c. today suggesting democratic strategy to try to get gun control accomplished, is
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that right, steve? >> reporter: in a sense yes, it was part of the discussion at a public revent held in washington that mayor emanuel took part in. local press was made aware of it well in advance. it touches on the city's most dramatic problem which is gun violence in this city. you mentioned over 500 homicides. just this past weekend, three more homicides, two of them teachers, all gun related. emanuel suggested in the d.c. forum the best course of action for greater gun control measures is to force the house's hand. >> start in the senate. that is where you get your best leverage and clear the deck and have entire focus period of time on the house. put the burner up. >> reporter: essentially, pressuring the house into doing something more about gun control than already on the federal books. emanuel also said that he ordered the city's pension funds to divest itself from any gun manufacturer. he called on other cities to do the same. john?
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jon:. jon: what about other ways to prevent gun violence? any suggestions out there? reporter: a lot of suggestions out there. we're hearing from illinois, democratically dominated state. some individuals say they spend too much time focus on the guns and not on the shooter. >> the overreaching broad gun control proposals we're seeing really do nothing to address the mental health issue and does nothing to address the criminal issue, it really doesn't and that's the problem. >> reporter: it's interesting the state legislature which is also democratically dominated, had an opportunity in a lame-duck session last week to address a new gun control measure but couldn't find the votes there. it will be interesting to see if democrats can rally similarly in washington. john? jon: steve brown, keeping an eye on that issue from chicago for us. thank you, steve. heather: well the fiscal cliff deal may have postponed mandatory budget
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cuts but they are still looming the defense spending is certainly on the chopping block right now. so a lot of folks are asking this, what will our military look like in president obama's second term? national security correspondent jennifer griffin is live at the pentagon this morning with that. good morning, jennifer. what has chuck hagel indicated he would cut going forward? >> reporter: first of all, heather it may not be up to hagel himself as defense secretary if he gets through the confirmation hearing. it will be up to congress. you still have sequestration, which is the $500 billion of cuts over 10 years that are looming. the deadline for that has been moved to march 1st but what hagel has said in the past and i will quote here, in september 2011, hagel told "the financial times" that the defense department was bloated, adding the pentagon needs to be pared down. i don't think our military really looked at themselves strategically, critically in a long time. clearly he wants to cut but so did secretary fates and did secretary panetta when they were both here at the
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defense department. right now the u.s. is spending about $85 billion a year on the war in afghanistan. 66,000 troops are there right now. the talk now is going down to 3 to 6,000 troops. what would that mean in terms of cost savings? it would take the war cost there in afghanistan down to about 6 or $12 billion. so there could be some savings from winding up operations in afghanistan. but, you still have runaway procurement programs and the skyrocketing costs of personnel, personnel in air force, army, marines, elsewhere. you heard the air force come out on friday and say they were going to be cutting down the air force, cutting back but they weren't specific about how much but these looming cuts are out there, but people want some clarity from congress about what is next, heather. heather: jennifer, we hear so much anecdotally and how broad the cuts could be from defense contractors, possibly getting out of the arena all together to look for new ways to make money.
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personally i was speaking a cousin of mine heads up rotc program at western university, says there is not as much money to go around to students as was before. this thing is very all encompassing. let's talk about this, reducing the nuclear stockpile. hagel is talking about that as well. what is he is saying? >> reporter: hagel has been clear. he back ad plan put out by a group called global zero which they talk about deep cuts to the nuclear arsenal. they call for an 80% reduction in the u.s. nuclear arsenal. such a cut according to global zero would save $100 billion over 10 years. that is not that much when you're talking about a large defense budget that is about $600 billion a year. the problem is, in speaking with military experts about cutting the nuclear arsenal and secretary gates found this himself when he looked at cutting it, in effect you have to spend a lot of money to modernize the nuclear
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arsenal in order to cut it. so it will not be an immediate cost savings, heather. heather: jennifer griffin in washington, thanks so much, jennifer. jon: we're awaiting president obama's news conference which is scheduled to begin any minute now. the president is questions from the white house press corps assembled in the east room right now. this comes as one of the lingering questions facing this administration is whether u.s. troops remaining in afghanistan pass the fourth fourth withdrawal would be immune from prosecution under afghan law. the u.s. is pushing for that immunity. today afghan president hamid karzai said a meeting of the nation's elders would decide that question. well the decision could make this a real game-changer. talk about it with michael singh, former senior director of middle eastern affairs at the national security council and managing director of the washington institute for near east policy. does the recent iraq war hold any history lessons for
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us? the obama administration did not really secure a status of forces agreement that was going to protect american troops. they all pulled out. what's the situation in iraq right now? >> reporter: well, obviously the administration had hoped originally for some kind of a residual force in iraq to continue our mission there but wasn't really able to negotiate that with the iraqi government. one of the issues it tripped over was this immunity question. this is, typically comes up in these types of situations and of course it is a question of sovereignty from afghanistan and protecting the troops in our eyes. i expect this will be difficult with afghanistan as well. jon: the president has reportedly considered plans to leave maybe 3000, maybe 9,000 troops in afghanistan but there are commanders in the field said you need a lot more than that. where, if they come up with say, even that lower number, 3000, is that enough to get
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any kind of a job done? >> it seems unlikely, jon. unwith of the goals from the decade-long effort to stop terrorists from establishing a foothold in afghanistan again. the national security forces can not do that on their own. they need assistance from u.s. forces still. without a sizable force there along the lines the administration was originally talk about, like 30,000 troops, it is hard to imagine that happening. jon: but the president is full of glowing words about, you know, what we've accomplished in afghanistan and the potential future of the afghan government. he also says we have decapitated al qaeda. is he looking at all this through rose-colored glasses, michael? >> well of course, jon, politics comes into this. we defeated al qaeda in afghanistan very quickly within the first couple years of that war. since then we've been trying to prepare the afghan government, the afghan security forces to insure al qaeda can't come back. and that is the big question here. not have we decapitated
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al qaeda but could al qaeda and the taliban have a resurgence after we leave. jon: meantime hamid karzai says his country will be more secure after foreign forces pull out. that seems like another case of rose-colored glasses to me? >> well he has to deal with a political reality here, jon. if it is inevitable that u.s. troops are going to leave he has to deal with that situation. i think it is frankly not surprising he would say, if he feels president obama will withdraw those troops, hey, we'll be fine and continue and so forth to try to send the message to his people and his government that this isn't sort of a disaster in waiting. jon: it seems like if hamid karzai's, you know, if he can't keep his troops, can't keep al qaeda from returning to huge swaths of his country, then the question has to be asked, was the afghan war worth it? >> well, jon, i think, you know, frankly the work our troops that they have done, it was work worth doing.
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the question is will we be able to consolidate those gains and maintain those gains? that is what the white house has to looks at. we have to make sure they make a responsible decision with regard to the afghan government. that is big question mark. can they manage to negotiate that to insure we don't lose the gains over these hard-fought 10 years. jon: we got word that the president is expected to step up to the podium in less than a mine, -- minute, michael. i will say good-bye. thanks very much for being with us. michael singh joining us from the former senior director of middle eastern affairs at the national security council covering the news conference from washington, bret baier joins us. we expect to hear about the fiscal cliff when he makes the opening statement? i meant to say the upcoming debt ceiling debate? >> fiscal cliff number two,
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i guess, jon. the debt ceiling debate will be part of the opening statement we're told. the president in the east room addressing reporters for the final time in his first term. this is his 36th solo news conference. he will have an opening statement where we expect him to lay down the gauntlet to probably say that republicans should not be mushing -- pushing up against this backdrop of the debt ceiling, to negotiate on increasing spending cuts and should just increase this debt ceiling to not risk any problems with the u.s. economy. republicans will say that this white house, this president, had been unable to do those spending cuts that have been talked about for so long and that they need this leverage to be able to force this issue. so we are where we have been, at this standoff as you look live in the east room there, with the president about ready to come out and address reporters. jon: all right. here now, president obama for the final news
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conference of his first term. >> please have a seat, everybody. good morning. i thought it might make sense to take some questions this week as my first term comes to an end. it's been a busy and productive four years and i expect the same for the next four years. i intend to carry out the agenda that i campaigned on, an agenda for new jobs, new opportunity, and new security for the middle class. now right now our economy is growing, and our businesses are creating new jobs. so we are poised for a good year, if we make smart decisions and sound investments, and as long as washington politics don't get in the way of america's progress. as i said on the campaign, one component to growing our economy and broading opportunity for the middle class is shrinking our deficits in a balanced and responsible way.
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and for nearly two years now i have been fighting for such a plan, one that would reduce our deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade, which would stablize our debt and our deficit in a sustainable way for the next decade. that would be enough not only to stop the growth of our debt relative to the size of our economy but would make it manageable, so it doesn't crowd out investments we need to make in people and in education and job training and science and medical research, all the things that help us grow. now step by step we have made progress towards that goal. over the past two years i signed into law about $1.4 trillion in spending cuts. two weeks ago i signed into law more than $600 billion in new revenue by making sure the wealthiest americans begin to pay their fair share. when you add the money that we'll save in interest payments on the debt, all together that adds up to a total of about $2.5 trillion
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in deficit reduction over the past two years. not counting the $400 billion already saved from winding down the wars in iraq and afghanistan. so we've made progress. we are moving towards our ultimate goal of getting to a $4 trillion reduction. and there will be more deficit reduction when congress decides what to do about the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that have been pushed until next month. the fact is though we can't finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone. the cuts we have already made it priorities other than medicare, medicaid, social security and defense mean that we spend on everything from education to public safety less as a share of our economy than it has been, has been true for a generation.
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and that's not a recipe for growth. so we've got to do more both to stablize our finances over the medium and long term but also spur more growth in the short term. now i've said i'm open to making modest adjustments to programs like medicare to protect them for future generations. i have also said that we need more revenue, through tax reform, by closing loopholes in our tax code for the wealthiest americans. if we combine a balanced package of savings from spending on health care and revenues from closing loopholes, we can solve the deficit issue without sacrificing our investments in things like education that are going to help us grow. turns out the american people agree with me. they listened to an entire year's debate over this issue and they made a clear decision about the approach they prefer. they don't think it is fair, for example, to ask a senior to pay more for his or her health care or a scientist
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to shut down life heavy saving research so the that a multimillionaire investor can pay less in tax rates than a secretary. they don't think it is smart to protect endless corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthiest americans, rather than rebuild our roads and our schools, invest in our workers skills or help manufacturers bring jobs back to america. so they want us to get our books in order in a balanced way where everybody pulls their weight, everyone does their part. that's what i want as well. that's what i have proposed. and we can get it done but we're going to have to make sure that people are looking at this in a responsible way, rather than just through the lens of politics. now the other congressionally imposed deadline coming up is the so-called debt ceiling, something most americans hadn't even heard he have before two years ago. so i want to be clear about
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this. the debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending. raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending. it simply allows the country to pay for spending that congress has already committed to. these are bills that have already been racked up and we need to pay them. so while i'm willing to compromise and find common ground how to reduce our deficits, america can not afford another debate with this congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up. if congressional republicans refuse to pay america's bills on time, social security checks, and veterans benefits will be delayed. we might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our contracts with small business owners. food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who
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track down loose nuclear materials wouldn't get their paychecks. investors around the world will ask if the united states of america is in fact a safe bet? markets could go haywire, interest rates would spike for anybody who borrows money, every homeowner with a mortgage, every student with a college loan, every small business owner who wants to grow and hire. it would be a self-inflicted wound on the economy. it would slow down our growth, might tip us into recession, and ironically would probably increase our deficit. so to even entertain the idea of this happening, of the united states of america not paying its bills, is irresponsible. it's absurd. as the speaker said two years ago, it would be, and i'm quoting speaker boehner now, a financial disaster not only for us but for the worldwide economy.
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so we've got to pay our bills. and republicans in congress have two choices here. they can act responsibly and pay america's bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put america through another economic crisis. but they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing american economy. the financial well-being of the american people is not leverage to be used. the full faith and credit of the united states of america is not a bargaining chip. and they better choose quickly because time is running short. the last time republicans in congress even flirted with this idea our aaa credit rating was downgraded for first time in our history, our businesses created the fewest jobs of any month in the past three years, ironically the whole fiasco added to the deficit. so it shouldn't be
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surprising given all this talk that the american people think washington is hurting rather than helping the country at the moment. they see their representatives consumed with partisan brinkmanship over paying our bills while they overwhelmingly want us to focus on growing the economy and creating more jobs. so let's finish this debate. let's give our businesses and the world the certainty that our economy and our reputation are still second it none. if we pay our bills, we handle our business, and then we can move on because merge has a lot to do. we've got to create more jobs, we've got to boost the wages of those who have work, we've got to reach for energy independence. we have to reform our immigration system, we've got to give our children the best education possible and we've got to do everything we can to protect them from the horrors of gun violence. let me say i'm grateful to vice president biden for his work on this issue, of gun violence, and for his
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proposals which i'm going to be reviewing today and i will address the next few days. and i intend to vigorously pursue. so, with that, i'm going to take some questions. and i'm going to start with julie pace of ap and i want to condition grat late julie for this new, important job. >> thank you very much. >> yeah. >> i wanted to ask about gun violence. today marks one month anniversary of newtown which seemed to generate momentum for reinstating the assault weapons band there is fresh opposition for the band from the nra and harry reid questions whether it could pass congress, given that, how hard will you push for an assault weapons ban and if one can not pass congress, what other measures would need to be included in a broad package to in order to curb gun violence successfully? >> as i said the vice president and a number of members of my cabinet went through a very thorough process over the last month,
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meeting with a lot of stakeholders in this, including the nra, listened to proposals from all quarters and they presented me now with a list of sensible common sense steps that can be taken to make sure that the kinds of violence we saw at newtown doesn't happen again. i'm going to be meeting with the vice president today. i expect to have a fuller presentation later in the week, to give people some specifics about what i think we need to do. my starting point is not to worry about the politics. my starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works. what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe and that we're reducing the incidents of gun violence. and i think we can do that in a sensible way, that comports with the second amendment. and then members of congress i think are going to have to have a debate and examine
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their own conscience because, if in fact, and i believe this is true, everybody across party lines was as deeply moved and saddened as i was by what happened in newtown, then, you know, we're going to have to vote based on what we think is best. we're going to have to come up with answers that set politics aside and that's what i expect congress to do but, what you can count on is that the things that i have said in the past, the belief that we have to have stronger background checks, that we can do a much better job in terms of keeping these magazine clips with high capacity out of the hand of folks who shouldn't have them, an assault weapons band is meaningful, that those are things that i continue to believe make sense. will all of them get through
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this congress? i don't know. but what's uppermost in my mind making sure that i'm honest with the american people and with members about of congress about what i think will work, what i think is something that will make a difference and, to repeat what i have said earlier, if there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in newtown, we should take that step. >> [inaudible]. >> i'll present the details later in the week. chuck todd, nbc. >> thank you, sir. as you know senate democrats, harry reid, sent you a letter, begging you, essentially, to take, consider some sort of executive action on this debt ceiling issue. i know you said you're not negotiating on it. your administration has ruled out the various ideas that have been out there, the 14th amendment, but just
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this morning, one of the house democratic leaders, jim clyburn asked you to use the 14th amendment, he said sometimes what it takes. talked about the emancipation proclamation. took executive action when congress wouldn't act and compared the debt ceiling to that. are you considering a plan b? if not, why not? >> well, chuck, the issue here is whether or not america pays its bills. we are not a deadbeat nation. and so, there's a very simple solution to this. congress authorizes us to pay our bills. now if the house and the senate want to give me the authority so that they don't have to take these tough votes, if they want to put
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the responsibility on me to raise the debt ceiling i'm happy to take it. mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, had a proposal like that last year. and i'm happy to accept it but if they want to keep this responsibility, then they need to go ahead and get it done. and you know, there are no magic tricks here. there are no loopholes. there are no, you know, easy outs. this is a matter of congress authorizes spending. they order me to spend. they tell me, you need to fund our defense department at such and such a level. you need to send out social security checks. you need to make sure that your paying to care for our veterans. they lay all this out for me and because they have the spending power. and so i am required by law
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to go ahead and pay these bills. separately they also have to authorize the raising of the debt ceiling in order to make sure the bills are paid. so what congress can do is, tell me to spend x and then say, but what not going to give you the authority to go ahead and pay the bills. and i want to repeat because i think sometimes the american people understandably aren't following all the he do bates here in washington. raising the debt ceiling does not authorize to spend more. all it does is say that america will pay its bills. and we are not a deadbeat nation and the consequences of us not paying our bills, as i outlined in my opening statement, would be disasterous.
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i understand the impulse to get around this in a simple way, but there is one way to get around this, one way to deal with this. and that is for congress to authorize me to pay for those. items of spending they already authorized. the notion that republicans in the house or maybe some republicans in the senate would suggest that in order for us to get our way on our spending priorities, that we would risk the full, faith, and credit of the united states, that i think is not what the founders intended, that is not how i think most americans think our democracy should work. you know, they have got a point of view. democrats in congress have a point of view. they need to sit down and work out a compromise.
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>> [inaudible]. >> yeah. >> you're not negotiating on the debt ceiling. >> yeah. >> if you're not negotiating and they say you have to negotiate, -- [inaudible] >> well, look, chuck, there are, there's a pretty state forward way of doing this and that is to set the debt ceiling aside, we pay our bills and then we have a vigorous debate about how we're going to do further deficit reduction in a balanced way. keep in mind that, you know, what we've heard from some republicans in both the house and the senate is that they will only increase the debt ceiling by the amount of spending cuts that they're able to push through. and in order to replace the
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automatic spending cuts the sequester, that is $1.2 trillion, say it takes another trillion or trillion two to get us through one more year, they'd have to identify $2.5 trillion in cuts just to get the debt ceiling extended to next year. 2.5 trillion. they can't, congress has not been able to identify $1.2 trillion in cuts that they're happy with because these same republicans say they don't want to cut defense. they claim that they don't want to gut medicare or recall ha the vulnerable but the truth of the matter is you can't meet their own criteria without drastically cutting medicare, or having an impact on medicare -- medicaid, or affecting our defense spending. so the math just doesn't add
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up. here's what would work. what would, work for us to say, we've already done close to $2 trillion in deficit reduction. if you add the interest that we won't be paying because of less spending, and, $2.5 tri. the consensus is we need about $4 trillion to stablize our debt and our deficit. which means we need $1.5 trillion more. the package that i offered to speaker boehner before we, before the new year would achieve that. we were actually fairly close in terms of arriving at that number. so, if the goal is to make sure that we are being responsible about our debt and our deficit, if that is the conversation we're having, i'm happy to have that conversation. and by closing additional loopholes through tax reform, which speaker boehner has
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acknowledged can raise money in a sensible way, and by doing some additional cuts, including making sure that we are reducing our health care spending, which is the main driver of our deficits, we can arrive at a package that gets this thing done. i'm happy to have that conversation. what i will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the american people. the threat that unless we get our way, unless you gut medicare or medicaid, or, you know, otherwise slash things that the american people don't believe should be slashed, that, we're going to threaten to wreck the entire economy. that is not how historically this has been done. that is not how we're going to do it this time. >> [inaudible]. >> i am --. >> [inaudible]. >> chuck, what i am saying
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to you, there is no simpler solution, no ready, credible solution other than congress, either give me the authority to raise the debt ceiling, or, exercise the responsibility that they have kept for themselves and raise the debt ceiling, because this is about paying your bills. everybody, everybody here understands this. this is not a complicated concept. you don't go out to dinner and, then, eat all you want and then leave without paying the check. and if you do, you're breaking the law. and congress should think about it the same way that the american people do. you don't, now, if congress wants to have a debate maybe we shouldn't go out to dinner next time, maybe we should go to a more modest restaurant, that's fine.
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that's a debate that we should have but you don't say, in order for me to control my appetites, i'm going to not pay the people who already provided me services. people who already lent me the money. that is not, that is not showing any discipline. all that is doing is not meeting your obligations. you can't do that. and that is not a credible way to run this government. we have got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis, to crisis, when there is this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility and some compromise. that's where we need to go. that is how this needs to work. major garrett. >> thank you, mr. president. as you well know, sir, finding votes for the debt ceiling can sometimes be complicated. you as a member of the senate voted against a debt
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ceiling increase and in previous aspects of american history president reagan in 1985, president george herbert walker bush, president clinton, in 1997 all signed deficit reduction deals were contingent mon or in con connection with raising the don't ceiling. you done that four times. three times related to defecit reduction and maneuvers. what chuck and i are curious about that desire not to negotiate, when that contrasts with the modern american presidents and your own history on the debt ceiling because that suggests we will go into a default situation because no one is talking to each other how to resolve this? >> no, major. i think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult and budgets in this town are always difficult. i went through this just last year, but what's different is we never saw a situation as we saw last
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year in which certain groups in congress took such an absolutist position, that we came within, a few days of defaulting. and you know, the fact of the matter is, that we have never seen the debt ceiling used in this fashion where the notion was, you know what? we might default unless we get 100% of what we want. that hasn't happened. now, as i indicated before, i'm happy to have a conversation about how we reduce our deaf silts further in a -- deficits in a sensible way. one thing i want to point out, the american people are concerned about how we grow our economy, how we put people back to work, how we make sure we finance our workers getting properly trained and our schools are giving us the education we deserve. there is a whole growth agenda which will reduce our deficits that is important as well.
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but, what you've never seen is the notion that has been presented so far at least by the republicans, that deficit reduction will only count spending cuts. that we will raise the deficit, or the debt ceiling dollar for dollar on spending cuts. there are a whole set of rules that have been established that are impossible to meet without doing severe damage to the economy. and so what we're not going to do is put ourselves in a position where in order to pay for spending that we've already incurred, that our two options we're either going to profoundly hurt the economy and hurt middle class families and hurt seniors and hurt kids who are trying to go to college, or alternatively, we're going to blow up the economy. we're not going to do that. >> [inaudible].
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>> no, not whatever congress sends me. they will have to send me something that is sensible. then we, and we shouldn't be doing this on a one to three-month time frame. why would we do that? this is the united states of america, major. we can't manage our affairs in such a way we pay our bills and we provide some in terms of how we pay our bills? look, i don't think anybody would consider my position unreasonable here. i have --. >> [inaudible]. >> major, the, i am happy to have a conversation about how we reduce our deficits. i'm not going to have a monthly or every three months conversation about whether or not we pay our bills, because, that in and of itself does severe
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damage. even the threat of default hurts our economy. it is hurting our economy as we speak. we shouldn't be having that debate. if we want to have a conversation about how to reduce our deficit, let's have that. we've been having that for the last two years. we had just an entire campaign about it and by the way the american people agreed with me, that we should reduce our deficits in a balanced way that also takes into account for the need to grow this economy and put people back to work. and despite that conversation, and despite the election results, the position that's been taken on the part of some house republicans is that, no, we got to do it our way, and if we don't, we simply won't pay america's bills. well, that can't be, that can't be a position that is sustainable over time. it's not one good for the economy now. certainly not going to be
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the kind of precedent that i want to establish not just for my presidency but for future presidents. even if it was on the other side. democrats don't like voting for the debt ceiling when a republican is president, yet, you never saw a situation in which democrats suggested somehow that we would go ahead and default if we didn't get 100% of our way. that is just not how it is supposed to work. john karl. >> thank you, mr. president. on the issue of guns, given how difficult it will be, some would say impossible to get any gun control measure passed through this congress, what are you willing or able to do using the powers of your presidency to act without congress and i would also like to know, what do you make of these long lines we're seeing at gun shows and gun stores all around the country? i mean even in connecticut applications for guns are up since the shooting in
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newtown? >> well, my understanding is the vice president's going to provide a range of steps that we can take to reduce gun violence. some of them will require edge are shun. some of them, i can accomplish through executive action. so i will be reviewing those today. i will speak in more detail what we'll go ahead and propose later in the week. but i'm confident there are some steps that we can take that don't require legislation and are within my authority as president and where you get a step that, has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence, then i want to go ahead and take it. >> ought ought. -- [inaudible] >> i think for example, how we are gathering data for example. on guns that falls into the hands of criminals and how we track that more effectively. there may be some steps we
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can take administratively as opposed through legislation. as far as people lining up and purchasing more guns, i think that we've seen for some time that those who oppose any common sense gun control or gun safety measures have pretty effective way of gining up fear on the part of gun owners that somehow the federal government's about to take all your guns away, and that, there is probably an economic element to that. it obviously is good for business but i think that, you know, those of us who look at this problem have repeatedly said that responsible gun owners, people who have a gun for
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protection, for hunting, for sportsmanship, they don't have anything to worry about. the issue is not whether or not we believe in the second amendment the issue is, are there some sensible steps that we can take to make sure that somebody like the individual in newtown can't walk into a school and gun down a bunch of children in a shockingly rapid fashion. and surely we can do something about that. and, but, part of the challenge that we confront is that even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area fans this notion that somehow here it comes, and that everybody's guns
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will be taken away. it is unfortunate but that is the case and, if you look at over the first four years of my administration we tried to tighten up and enforce some of the laws that were already on the books but it would be pretty hard to argue that somehow gun owners have had their rights infringed. >> [inaudible]. >> excuse me? >> [inaudible]. >> well, as i said i think it is a fare that's fanned by those who are worried about the possibility of any legislation getting out there. guiliana gould. >> thank you, mr. president. want to come back to the debt ceiling because in the summer of 2011 you said you wouldn't negotiate on the
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debt ceiling and you did. last year you said you wouldn't extend any of the bush tax cuts for the wealthy and you did. so as you say now that you're not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling, this year, why should house republicans take that seriously and think that if we get to the one minute to midnight scenario that you're not going to back down? >> well, first of all, juliana, take the example of this year and the fiscal cliff. i didn't say that i would not not have any conversations about extending the bush tax cuts, what i said we wouldn't extend bush tax cuts for wealthy and we didn't. we can argue during the campaign that i said, i set the criteria for wealthy at 250, and we ended up being at 400. but the fact of the matter is that millionaires, billionaires, are paying significantly more in taxes, just as i said. so from, you know, from the
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start my concern was making sure that we had a tax code that was fair and that protected the middle class and my biggest priority was making sure middle class taxes did not go up. you know, the difference between this year and 2011 is the fact that we already made $1.2 trillion in cuts. and, and at the time, i indicated that there were cuts that we could sensibly make that would not damage our economy, would not impede growth. i said at the time i think we should pair it up with revenue in order to have an overall balanced package but my own budget reflected cuts in discretionary spending. my own budget reflected the cuts that needed to be made. and we have made those cuts. now, the challenge going forward is, that we've now made some big cuts and if
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we're going to do further deficit reduction the only way to do it is in a balanced and responsible way. the alternative is for us to go ahead and cut, commitments that we made on things like medicare, or social security, or med cay -- medicaid. and for us to fundamentally change commitments that we have made to make sure that seniors don't go into positive tert -- poverty. or that children who are disabled are properly cared for. for us to change the contract we made for the american people rather than look at options like closing loopholes for corporations that they don't need, you know, that points to a
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long-term trend in which, you know, we have fundamentally i think undermined what people expect out of this government, which is, that parties sit down, they negotiate, they compromise but they also reflect the will of the american people, that you don't have one narrow faction that is able to simply dictate 100% of what they want all the time or otherwise threaten that we destroy the american economy. another way of putting it is, we have got to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again. and now, now is as good of a time as any at the start of my second term because if we continue down this path then there's really no stopping the principle. i mean let rally, even in divided government, even where we have a democratic president and a democratic senate and a small group in the house of representatives
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could simply say, you know, every two months, every three months, every six months, every year, we are going to more and more change the economy in ways that we prefer, despite strong objections of americans all across the country for otherwise we'll have america not pay its bills. and, you know, that is no way for us to do business. and by the way, i would make the same argument if it was a republican president and a republican senate and you had a handful of democrats who were suggesting that we're going to hijack the process and make sure that either we get our way 100% of the time or otherwise, you know, we are going to default on america's obligations. >> [inaudible]. >> no, no. look, what i've said is, i'm happy to have a conversation about deficit reduction. >> [inaudible]. >> no.
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juliana, look, this is pretty straightforward, either congress pays its bills or it doesn't. and if, they want to keep this responsibility, if john boehner and mitch mcconnell think that they can come up with a plan that somehow meets their criteria that they have set for why they will, when they will raise the debt ceiling, they're free to go ahead and try but the proposals that they have put forward in order to accomplish that, only by cutting spending, means cuts to things like medicare, and education that the american people profoundly reject. if they think that they can get that through congress, then they're free to try but i think that a better way of doing this is to go ahead and say, we're going to pay our bills.
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the question now is, how do we actually get our deficit in a manageable, sustainable way and that's a conversation i'm happy to have. all right. matt. >> thank you, sir. you've spoken extensively about the debt ceiling debate but some republicans further said they're willing to allow a government shutdown take place rather than put off deep spending cuts. are you prepared to allow the government to dwrind to a halt if you disagree with the spending cut proposals they put forth and who do you think the american people would blame if that came to pass? >> well, ultimately congress makes decisions about whether or not we spend money and whether or not we keep this government open. and if the republicans in congress have made a decision made to shut down the ghost in order to get their way, then they have to,
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votes at least in the house of representatives to do that. i think that would be a mistake. i think it would be profoundly damaging to our economy. i think it would actually add to our deficit because it will impede growth. i think it is shortsighted and i think they're elected representatives and folks put them in to those positions and they will have to make a decision about that. and i don't, i suspect that the american people would blame all of washington for not being able to get its act together. but the larger issue here has to do, what is it that we're trying to accomplish? are re trying to reduce the deficit? because if we're trying to reduce the deficit then we can shape a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit. i mean, is that really our objective? our concern is that we're spending more than we take in and if that's the case
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then there's a way of balance laing that out so that we take in more money, increasing revenue, and we reduce spending and there's a recipe for getting that done. and, in the conversation that i had with speaker boehner before the end of the year we came pretty close. a few hundred billion dollars separating us when stretched out over a 10-year period, that's not a lot. but it seems as if what's motivating and propelling at this point some of the house republicans is more than simply deficit reduction. they have a particular vision what government should and should not do. they are suspicious about the government's commitments, for example, to make sure seniors have decent health care as they get older. they have suspicions about social security. they have suspicions about
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whether government should make sure kids in poverty are getting enough to eat, or whether we should be spending money on medical research? so they have got a particular view of what government should do, and should be. and, you know, that view was rejected by the american people when it was debated during the presidential campaign. i think irv poll that is out there indicates that the american people actually think our commitment to medicare or to education is really important and that's something that we should look at as a last resort in terms of reducing the deficit and it make as lot more sense for us to close, for example, corporate loopholes before we go to before putting a bigger burden on students and seniors. but, if the house republicans disagree with
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that and they want to shut down the government to see if they can get their way on it, that is their prerogative. that is how the system is set up. it will damage our economy. now the government is a big part of this economy. and it's interesting that a lot of times you have people who recognize that when it comes to defense spending. some of the same folks who say we have got to cut spending or complain that, you know, government jobs don't do anything, when it comes to that defend contractor in their distribute they think, wow, this is pretty important part of the economy in my district. we shouldn't stop spending on that. let's just make we're not spending on those other folks. >> [inaudible]. well, look, my hope is, common sense prevails. that is always my preference.
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and i think that would be the preference of the american people and this would be good for the economy. so let me just, you know, repeat. if the issue is deficit reduction, getting our deficits sustainable, over time, getting our debt in a sustainable place, then, democrats and republicans in congress will have a partner with me. we can achieve that and, you know, we can achieve it fairly quickly. we know what the numbers are. we know what needs to be done. we know what a balanced approach would take. we've already done probably more than half of the deficit reduction we need to stablize the debt and the deficit. there has probably been more pain and drama in getting there than we needed. so finishing the job shouldn't be that difficult if everybody comes to the conversation with an open mind and if we recognize that there's some things
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like not paying our bills that should be out of bounds. all right? i'm going to take one last question. jackie colmes. >> mr. president. >> yeah. >> i like to ask you, now that you reached the end of your first term, starting your second, about a couple of critsims. one longstanding, another more recent. the longstanding one seems to become a truism of sorts that you and your staff are too insular. that you don't socialize enough. and the second, more recent criticism that your team taking shape knit diverse, isn't as diverse as it could be or even was in terms of getting additional voices, gender, race, ethnic diversity. i would like you to address both of those. >> let me take the second one first. you know, i'm very proud in the first four years we had as diverse, if not more diverse a white house and a cabinet than any in history.
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and i intend to continue that. because turns out when you look for the very best people, given the diversity of this country, you will end up with a diverse staff and diverse team. that very diversity helps create more effective policy making and better decision making for me because it brings different perspectives to the table. so, if you think about my first four years, the person who probably had the most influence on my foreign policy was a woman. the people who were in charge of moving forward my most important domestic initiative, health care, were women. my two appointments to the
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supreme court were women and 50% of my white house staff were women. i think people should expect that record will be built on next four years. what i have made four appointments so far and one woman, admittedly a high-profile one, is leaving the administration, has already evident are the administration and i have made a replacement but i would suggest that everybody, kind of wait until they have seen all my appointments who is in the white house staff and in my cabinet before they rush to judgment. >> [inaudible]. >> i guess what i'm saying, jackie, i think, until you've seen, what my overall team looks like, it is premature to assume that somehow we're going backwards. we're not going backwards. we're going forward. with respect to this truism
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about me not socializing enough and patting folks on the back and all that stuff, most people who know me no, i'm a pretty friendly guy. and i like a good party. and, you know the truth is that, you know, when i was in the senate i had great relationships over there and up until the point i became president this was not an accusation you heard very frequently. i think, i think that really what's gone on in terms of some of the paralysis here in washington or difficulties in negotiations just have to do with some very stark differences in terms of policy. some very sharp differences in terms of where we stand on issues, and, you know, if you think about let's say,
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myself and speaker boehner, i like speaker boehner personally. and, you know, when we went out and played positively we had a great time, but that didn't get a deal done in 2011. you know, when i am over here at the congressional picnic and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, i promise you, michelle and i are very nice to them and we have a wonderful time. but it doesn't prevent them from going under the floor of the house and, blasting me for being a, big spending socialist. if you, and, the reason that, you know, in many cases congress votes the way they do or talks the way they talk or takes positions in negotiations that they take doesn't have to do with me. it has to do with the imperatives they feel in
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terms of their own politics, right? they're worried about their district. they're worried about what is going on back home. i think there are a lot of republicans at this point that feel that given how much energy has been devoted in some of the mode yaw that is prefered preferred by republican constituencies to demonize me that it doesn't look real good socializing with me. charlie crist down in florida i think testifies to that. i think a lot of folks say, well, you know, if we look like we're being too cooperative or too chummy with the president, that might cause us problems. that might be an excuse for us to get a challenge from somebody in a primary. so that tends to be the challenge. i promise you, we invite folks from congress over here all the time. and when they choose to come
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i enjoy their company. sometimes they don't choose to come and that has to do with the fact that, i think, they don't consider the on i can it is useful for them politically -- optics. ultimately the way we'll get stuff done, personal relationships are important, and obviously i can always do a better job and the nice thing is now that my girls are getting older, they don't want to spend that much time with me anyway. so i will be probably equaling around looking for somebody to play cards with me or something. because i'm getting kind of lonely in this big house. so maybe, maybe a whole bunch of members of the house republican caucus want to come over and socialize more. but my suspicion is getting the issues resolved we just talked about, the big stuff, whether or not we get sensible laws passed to prevent gun violence. whether or not america's paying its bills. whether or not we get
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immigration reform done, all that is going to be determined largely by where the respective parties stand on policy and maybe most importantly, the attitude of the american people. now if the american people feel strongly about these issues and they push hard and they reward or don't reward members of congress with their votes, you know, if they reject sort of uncompromising positions or sharp partisanship or always looking out for the next election and they reward folks who are trying to find common ground, then i think you will see behavior in congress change. and that will be true whether i'm the life of the party or a stick in the mud. all right? thank you very much, everybody.
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a sometimes. jon: a sometimes testy barack obama holding his first news con last news conference of the first term. a lot of hectoring of republicans. he called out house republicans by name and mitch mcconnell in the senate. he was asked a question but would do what some democrats expect he would do and raise the debt ceiling by executive order and bypass the congress on that question. with are we on the battles ahead? anything new as a result of this news conference? let's bring back the anchor of "special report", bret baier. bret, anything what the president said make your ears perk up? >> striking how much of the news conference dealt with the debt ceiling battle to come. obviously the president started this with a statement about it saying how detrimental he believed it would be for republicans to push up against the debt ceiling and he didn't want to negotiate on it, listing
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out all the negative things that could happen if, in his words, you went over that line, saying that social security checks and veterans checks will be delayed. that the full, faith and credit of the united states would be at risk. understand that as we have explained here many times, that treasury brings in receipts, tax receipts every day. you would be able to have enough money to pay what the nation owes first. so you wouldn't be in default, to what the country owes. and as far as what is going out, what would be paid it would be a choice, a priority list for treasury to pay. now would social security checks be delayed? veterans checks be delayed? that is a question. but the president is saying definitely they would. i thought that was a pretty interesting statement. he also had a bit of a math lineup at the beginning what he says already has been
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done on deficit and debt reduction, kind of an addition republicans would have, would quarrel with on his way to $4 trillion over 10 years. and finally, in an exchange with cbs's major garrett, formerly of fox, of course, it was a testy exchange. major asked about senator obama's voting against increasing the debt ceiling as senator in 2006 and other times, and how that squares with what he was saying now about republicans doing the same thing? and he really didn't have an answer for that. we do have what senator obama said on the floor. he said america has a debt and failure of leadership. americans deserve better. the fact that we are here today to debate raising america's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. it's a sign that the u.s. government can't pay its own bills. it's a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial cities stance from foreign
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countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies. leadership means the buck stops here. he goes on to say he would vote against it. he later said regretted the vote and it was all about politics but that exchange with major garrett was interesting in that he diametrically opposed to that now as president trying to get the debt ceiling raised. jon: he seems to be saying he is not going to negotiate. they have to lift the debt ceiling and there will not be any talk about spending cuts at all. he also suggested that, you know, if congress doesn't do what he wants, hear is the laundry list, homeowners, small business owners, students, veterans and seniors, that pretty much covers the entire country. they're all going to get hurt but there was no talk about spending cuts. why not? >> well he said he is willing to have this discussion separate of the debt ceilings to have this balanced discussion. he also talked about closing loopholes and deductionsing something that house speaker john boehner you may
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remember brought to the table first in the fiscal cliff negotiation and that was kind of taken off the table because the president and the white house wanted to deal with increasing tax rates first and that's what happened. now there's a focus in this news conference on closing those loopholes, closing those deductions in some sort of balanced plan along with some spending cuts that don't deal with entitlements. he went on at one point at about the sixth question, there were seven questions in all, saying that some republicans are suspicious about social security, suspicious about medicare and medicaid and helping kids in poverty. that was just an interesting phrase for republicans being suspicious of those programs. i think republicans up on the hill would say, no, that the president had come, for example, to a republican event back in 2010 and said
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those very words saying that those, those programs, medicare and medicaid specifically, are the big drivers of debt and would need to be reformed. those are the biggest things to deal with. so some of the things he said today sounded a lot like he was talking on the campaign trail. interesting that this was the last news conference of his first term, getting ready for the inauguration, heading into what is going to be probably a very sticky negotiation with republicans yet again. it doesn't sound like it is going to be any different than the fiscal cliff negotiations. jon: again, pointing to republicans in congress as being the people who passed the spending bills which he complains they are not willing to pay for now, and yet as we have noted time and time again, the democrats in the democrats have not passed a spending bill or haven't passed one in more than three years in contravention of the law. >> a budget.
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>> a budget, i'm sorry
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,. >> received judicial approval to exercise their second amendment rights.
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jon: breaking news on "happening now." the now 12-year-old boy who was on trial for murder in california for shooting to death his neonatzi father has been found guilty, not by the jury, but by the judge. this was a bren much trial it's called. there is a picture of the father, jeff hall, a neonatzi leader, well-known, and according to testimony a sometimes violent man who was sleeping on the couch after an argument with the boy's mother. the boy -- this was the adoptive father of that boy, jeff hall. the adoptive father of the boy. there had been an argument in
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the home. the father apparently went to sleep on the couch and the son, according to testimony, killed the father with one of his own handguns. at any rate that boy has been found guilty. he can go to either juvenile detention or probation, however, he cannot be held beyond the age of 23. that would be an 11 year sentence for a boy right noise 12 years old, ten years old when the crime was commit. found guilty of the murder in the shooting death of his neonatzi adoptive father. heather: today marks a critical milestone for the middle east, taoupb tunisia marks two years and the arab spring, a wave of mass protest that swept through the region and overturned the old political order. here are the countries affected by the arab spring. look at them all throughout the region. we are asking today what count treats should the united states
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be worried about. joining me now john a than that khaerpbs, author of the book ha has versus fatah, the struggle for palestine. good morning. there were at least 15 countries were were looking at there. hard expressed to say that the united states has a better relationship with any of those countries following the arab spring. what ones concern you the most. >> all of them concern me on some level or another because we are seeing the rice of islamist government, we are seeing the imposition of more radical policies, the rice of the muslim brotherhood in general which is certainly not a liberal governance organization. the domino that we are watching that i'm concerned about most right now is jordan. they have been under immense strain since the beginning of the arab spring. heather: we should mention that jordan has been a very strong ally of the united states. we staged a lot of our troops in that country at the very
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beginning of the war in iraq. what happens if jordan falls. you say that has been an under reported story. >> absolutely. there has been a series where the king had sacked the prime minister three or four times now. there have been regular protests out in the streets against this government. there is immense pressure for the king to make sweeping changes. the problem is, of course, that with those sweeping changes would likely bring in a muslim brotherhood government. the last time there was a free and fair elections in jordan was 1989 where the islamic action front which is the muslim brotherhood organization in jordan won by a significant margin. we are watching that. it could mean the end of a peace treaty with the israelis, a change in proamerican policies. this is obviously of great concern. heather: talk to us about yemen, you said that is an area of concern because there are so many loose weapons there. >> absolutely this is a country of 20 million people and 60 million weapons. it's long been an area of concern for the u.s. government's war on terror.
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obviously al-qaida of the arabian pennsylvania operates with impunity there. now we are hearing that the yems seed from the north as if things weren't complicated enough. this is a highly unstable government that we're looking at with greater ramification of terrorist action. heather: talk to us a little bit about bahrain and qatar. >> bahrain is interesting. there was a great deal of unrest there at one point. of it seems to have gotten quiet. the saudis have helped squelch the unrest there. the united states looking on on not saying thinking. this is a saudi-controlled government and we are doing everything we can to make sure the saudis remain stable so we are doing everything we can at the same time to see that bahrain remains stable. aoeufpbl not sure this is a wise idea but we may not have much of a choice. qatar is interesting also. it really has very little unrest
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there, but i actually see them, where a lot of these countries are going on defense right now, doing their best to deflect the protests, cuts are really look to be trying to expand its influence. spending money in gaza, spending money in egypt, buying up television stations here in the united states. heather: al gore's current tv. we don't have time to get into this right now. one major area of concern of course is what happens to religious minorities including christian tph-s this part of the world and things are not looking good for them in many of those countries. jonathan chancer sorry we have to leave you there. thank you for joining us from the foundation of defense for democracy. jon: questions about a newspaper's position of publishing a map of names and addresses of legal and permit gun owners. our news watch panel joins us next. [ loud party sounds ]
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>> this just in, house speaker john boehner reacting to the president's news conference that was held a short while ago. specifically boehner commenting on the debt ceiling, and his statement in part reads this. the american people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time. the consequences of failing to increase the debt ceiling are real, but so too are the consequences of allowing our spending problem to go unresolved. the president a short while ago basically laid blame at the feet of republicans if nothing gets done to resolve this problem, jon. jon: a disturbing report just weeks after a newspaper north of new york city published and identified thousands of legal gun owners by putting an
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interactive map with names and addresses on the internet. on that list apparently was targeted over the weekend by burglars who went after the owner's gun safe. the gun was securely locked away and apparently they did not get any weapons. meanwhile fox news host judge jeanine piro is speak out against the newspaper's decision. >> i think they put a lot of people in danger. i think they put battered women in danger who have orders of proceed tucks, whose addresses have been protected by the courts. they put the families of corrections officers lives in danger as well as retired cops. they've given an interactive pharpbgs bill it's frightening. you go there and look, bill even the parole board will say to you if a violent criminal is getting out of jail they'll call you and let you know he's getting out. the journal news has given them your address and a map to your house. jon: let's talk about it with our news watch panel. jim pinkerton a contributing editor and writer for a
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conservative magazine and a fox news contributor as well. alan combs is a fox news contributor and automatic automatiauthor. the the public records identify only legal handguns, they tell you nothing about the neighbor who has an equally legal lethal rifle or shotgun. the publication has not spurred a healthy debate it has merely escalated a shouting match. >> i do agree with a large part of that. i think they did was legal and right, as far as it went, but what they didn't do was be explanatory enough about why they did it. they've refused media interviews. i tried to get an interview with them. they have not been open about why they did it. a number of parents have spoken out continue traeur reto convention alwisdom that this was a terrible thing. they said i'd like to know if
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i'm sending my kid over for a play date if there are guns over there. you just quoted bill keller, lethal weapons assault weapons, they were only permit towed publish pistols. we don't know what else may be in some of these houses. jon: my thinking is if i want to know if someone my kid is playing with, if there's guns in their house i'd call them up and ask them. >> there is a lot of information they could have published. they could have published foreclosures, all arrest records, what judge piro was talking about, parolees and so on. if you want to violate people's privacy and cause havoc in a community there are a thousand bits of information you can publish and the whole town will be in uproar, and i guess that sells newspapers or gets clicks. it was completely ridiculous for the people to do this and they've caused great harm. as far as i can tell they are not apologetic at all. >> i'm not sure what harm they've caused. news day reported for today, for example we don't know that a
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burglary that took place that you referenced earlier jon was directly related to the release of this information. we are not a hundred percent sure about that. what the paper didn't do was give good enough explanations and be more forthcoming about why they did what they did. jon: there are something like 8,000 active and retired police officers who live in rocklin county and their names are on the list of gun owners. what do you say to somebody who put a thug away some years ago and maybe now that thug is getting out of prison? >> those are all good points. meanwhile the irony is at the same time that sort of the liberal media are trying to disclose more about legal gun owners, as bill keller said not illegal gun owners, nobody knows who they are, they are trying to suppress information about known criminals. in california they passed prop 35 with 81% of the vote calling for more disclosure about sex offenders and their whereabouts after their release. the aclu sued to stop that from
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happening, so here we are suppressing information about sex offenders and public louisiana hraoeuzing information about gun owners. >> should we publicize everything or nothing, or have the same standards for both. >> this is why the paper is so ridiculous to be doing this. there is so much information that could be published that does not help anything. i think sex offenders should be well-known to neighbors and children and so on, i don't think that gun owners should. if you go through all arrests and criminal records and foreclosures, and lawsuits you could publish -- we haven't even got eve gotten to the precedent set here, if the newspaper can do this why can't facebook and google do this. jon: we'll have to leave the discussion there. the information about this burglary that took place over the weekend at the home of a 70-year-old gun owner and the burglars apparently went after his safe we'll probably be learning what they went a. they did catch one of the guys, at one on the run. jim pinkerton.
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alan, thank you very much. >> combs. jon: got that. we'll be right back.
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